Why Psychedelic Drugs Could Eventually Treat Asthma

Researchers continue to explore the anti-inflammatory nature of psychedelics, which, in small doses, may alleviate asthma symptoms.

Evan Lewis-Healey
3 min readJul 12, 2021
Image by Bob Williams from Pixabay

Eleusis Therapeutics has found a potential novel application for psychedelic substances: treating asthma.

The research comes off the back of over a decade’s worth of work investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelics, such as LSD, psilocybin, and ayahuasca, to treat mental health issues. But a recent effort by Eleusis and their partners has uncovered small doses may help those suffering from the common respiratory condition.

Psychedelics as Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Psychedelics are structurally similar to serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the body that is implicated in a variety of functions. The effects of psychedelic substances are due to their interaction with the serotonin 2A receptor (one of many types of serotonin receptors found in the brain). Much like a key fits to a lock, psychedelics have a complementary shape to the receptor — once these two ‘bind’ together, these substances may open your brain up to the ensuing psychedelic effects, if taken in a high enough dose.

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Evan Lewis-Healey

PhD candidate at Cambridge University. Studying the cognitive neuroscience of altered states of consciousness.